Do I Do

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Last night, the studio did another open house and they combined it with a theme from the ongoing festival of points to create the second chance wedding dance night.

After all, it is wedding season

But I’m jumping ahead a bit so let me talk about my lesson first and then we’ll come back to the party. Well let me actually talk about the warm up before my lesson. I was sitting with another couple who was waiting for their lesson and we were watching what has to be a couple prepping for their wedding. He says to me “those two never take their eyes off each other” and I watched for a bit and it was so true!

Well it wasn’t quite like this

Of course, if you get seriously into more competitive dancing, you know you aren’t supposed to be staring into your partners eyes as you dance. Every now and then is probably OK in a Rhythm dance. And, they haven’t been dancing together long enough to get into the arguin’ stage “you didn’t lead that right” “I lead just fine, you just didn’t follow”. I joke but, deep down, I am a hopeless romantic so it makes me feel good to see people that in to each other.

As I found out on Tuesday, we get to do our Argentine Tango for Showstoppers since we’ve never actually performed it anywhere. Well it needed a beginning because you can’t just start dancing without some kind of intro. She took the traditional idea of having us start apart but added a little twist. We aren’t looking at each other so we are back to back but with a significant distance between us. On the first eight count, we take four backward steps towards each other. Two are normal but she wants two to be Rondes. Basically, it is just sweeping one leg out and around but it looks all dramatic. Then, if all goes well, we turn and are close enough to get into a two hand hold where she does a kick and settle into frame to start the actual dancing. The two tricky parts to this are me knowing when to start and making sure we end up right next to each other. I mean you could be glancing over your shoulder to make sure but that wouldn’t look cool. In the studio, we could do little side glances into the mirrors on the wall but at Showcase we wouldn’t have that opportunity. Good thing there is a lot of time to practice.

We played around with some of the other steps as well just to get the alignments where we wanted. There were a couple of places where she wanted to be facing the audience so that required tweaking early steps so we’d end up where we needed to be.

At the end of the lesson, I brought up my desire to do more than one solo and she seemed into that idea. Over the years, most of what I’ve done has been to dances outside the normal nine dance. I mean I’ve done two Quicksteps, a Peabody, two Argentine Tangos, two West Coast Swings, two Country Waltzes, a Shuffle and a Two Step. I’ve also done two Viennese Waltzes and a Rumba and Fox Trot but those last two were early on in my dance life. The Rumba was the first solo I ever did. Think I also did a Mambo somewhere in there as well. I lose track. Actually, if you count Studio B, you can add another two step, a salsa and another west coast swing (maybe also a night club two step). Anywho, the point is that I’ve not done what might be considered the more “traditional dances” so I told JoNY that maybe we should just start focusing on those.

Well that and I had a song idea. Had this one with Kid T last year before she left. The song is “People are Strange”. I was favoring the Echo and the Bunnymen version but the Doors version could work as well. They did a version on Dancing with the Stars but I don’t know if they changed the tempo of the song. That show is kind of my go to on a song. When I get an idea, I just search the song title and dance style I think it is. That’s what came up on this search. JoNY said she’d listen to the song to see what we can do with it.

She also said it would fit with the theme of the next Showcase which I guess is something about music legends. Our Argentine Tango is to a cover of Billie Jean so I guess it qualifies. Echo and the Bunnymen probably don’t rise to the level of music legends (to most people) but the Doors certainly would. I suppose it could open up a costuming idea for the next Showcase although I don’t know what a traditional Jim Morrison look would be.

This is the Wayne’s World version of Jim Morrison

I couldn’t get my hair to look like that. It doesn’t seem to get any longer – it just branches out and starts waving all over the place. There’s other pictures of Jim Morrison without a shirt but we aren’t going there.

(Author’s Note: At some point, WordPress stopped autosaving my drafts so the rest of the post was wiped out and I shall now have to attempt to recreate it)

As previously mentioned, the theme of the open house was second chance wedding dance and the plan was to give couples an opportunity to do a second “first” dance. Or to do a first dance if they didn’t have one. On the night of the event, they only had a few couples sign up but Z “recruited” several more during the day. She’s good at persuasion and it is funny how few people turn down an opportunity to dance in front of the studio.

We had a range of dancers. There were two couples who were warming up for their weddings up to a couple who had been married 40+ years. One couple had started at the studio three years ago for their wedding and were still around. What I liked to do from time to time is watch the watchers. Scan the audience while people were dancing just to see the faces and the smiles. I don’t know why. There were lots of new people at the studio and they had some of the best reactions. Sometimes when you are totally in the dance world, you forget that a very large number of people really have never taken any lesson at all. I wonder if the dancing seems like a super power to them.

I don’t say this to be mean but most of the dancers were the social dancers. They aren’t competing and they wouldn’t place very well in a true comp. There are the technique errors and timing and posture and all the things you could pick apart if you really wanted to be critical. Still it had the people smiling and watching. Could have just been the theme of the night and maybe there were more hopeless romantics in the audience. Or it is just the power of dance.

They ended the show with the instructors doing repeats of dances they had done at Showcase. It also gave all the newcomers an opportunity to really see some dancing and to get all googly eyed and amazed at what is possible. It is also really nice for us students to see instructors dance. I mean when you are pro/am, they dance but it is a different thing to see them dancing with each other. The new guy and newest girl did a Tango. To be honest, he was dragging her around a bit but she’s still new and I think she’s been focused on teaching beginning students so she probably hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to work on advanced stuff. Then JoNY and OwnerGuy did a Bolero. She’s said it is one of her favorite dances and it showed. She really got to cut loose and they did a great job.

Well that’s all the dancing news for today.

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